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When Your Poker Solver is Lying to You and Costing You Money

A few people have come to me recently and asked, "Have you ever felt like you've gotten worse after working with a poker solver?" This is usually because of one of three reasons:


  1. The process of learning something new can temporarily cause you to overthink before the new material becomes integrated into your game.

  2. You stop trusting your natural instincts and either overuse, misapply, or blindly follow the new concepts.

  3. The solver strategies you learned assumed a very artificial environment which is not at all like the one you face with human opponents, especially in live poker.


Of these three reasons, #3 is the most common, enduring issue with poker solvers like PioSolver and GTO Wizard. Poker players that fail to adjust and apply the new concepts to the actual players they face in real life often would have been better off not using these solvers in the first place. The following is a hand where a solver literally always makes the wrong river decision against this particular human opponent.


Check Out This Hand Where Hand Reading Leads to a Great Exploit:



How Solvers Like GTO Wizard Get It All Wrong


This is what a solver wants you to do on the river with AhKs in this hand:



Green means check back. In other words, the solver wants you to rely on inadequate showdown value and miss a great bluffing opportunity. This is a perfect example of where GTO fails and a PTO (player-theory-optimal) approach is needed.


Where Poker Edges Will Come From in the Future


As more and more players use solver technology like this, the edges in poker will not come down to who can brainlessly mimic the technology the best. Instead, the players that rise to the top will be the ones that find the best exploits and trust their instincts to do something out of book when the moment calls for it.


If you are tired of hearing about GTO strategy and want an approach that actually works against your exact player pool, contact Joel Wald today at joel@pto-poker.com or book a free 30-minute Zoom call to discuss how PTO Poker can help you achieve your poker goals!

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